Sleep is one of the most important factors to leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle. It has been linked to a number of things including energy, focus, happiness, mood, motivation, and more. Think about the last time you had a restless night with very little sleep, whether it was due to a bad dream, neighbors being noisy late into the night, overthinking, or any other reason. How did you feel the next day? Probably less than optimal.
Even if you don't have many nights without sleep, can you remember the last time you woke up feeling recharged, refreshed, and actually rested? Insomnia and poor sleep quality doesn't mean you are up all night. Sometimes, it is simply not being relaxed enough to get the rest you need. Over time, this can manifest in different ways. For example, you might feel fatigued, tired all the time, drained, or antisocial.
What's Preventing You From Good Rest?
Suffice it to say, a lot of adults would love to get better quality sleep if they could. There are several reasons why you may not be able to get solid sleep consistently. To understand how to optimize your nightly routine for better sleep, we need to first look at the different areas that may trigger a terrible night of rest.
Stress & Anxiety
One of the most common causes of insomnia is stress. When there is a lot going on that impacts your stress levels, it can be hard to quiet the mind to the point where you are able to fall asleep. Overthinking will in-turn, create anxiety. The tricky part about this is the underlying desire to sleep. The more you try to fall asleep, the more frustrated you may get; and the more stress it creates - resulting in a negative feedback loop. You might have heard yourself or your friends and family describe this as "not being able to shut off the brain."
Not only can stress and anxiety impact your ability to sleep, it can also impact the quality of sleep once you finally doze off. This can mean tossing and turning, bad dreams, or waking up several times a night. None of these are ideal for getting quality rest and allowing your body to properly recharge.
Caffeine & Alcohol
Everyone has a different reaction to drugs and substances. There are individuals who can have an espresso before bed and still knock out cold until the following morning. But if you fall into the majority, caffeine and other stimulant substances can keep you awake and alert far longer than desired, creating a cycle of exhaustion and fatigue.
For example, when you have a bad night of sleep and feel particularly tired the following day, it might be temping to have multiple cups of coffee to be productive. The downside is that having too much caffeine throughout the day can them impact your ability to fall asleep later that night. The next thing you know, the cycle repeats itself all over again and now you are perpetually tired and not getting the rest you deserve.
This is where it might be tempting to have a glass of wine or a nightcap before bed. Be careful when it comes to alcohol and other depressants however. When it comes to alcohol, having too much can also impact how well you sleep; and similar to caffeine, alcohol can lead to a bad night of rest that results in you being tired the next day.
Inconsistent Sleep Schedule
Once in a while, you may find yourself in a position where you binge an entire season of a show until the wee hours of the morning. Or perhaps you are out for an occasion and stay up far later than what was planned. Maybe a busy week with work results in waking up earlier than usual or pulling an all-nighter to hit deadlines or projects. The next time there is a day off, you sleep until late in the afternoon.
Circumstances come up, but the point we are emphasizing here is about the consistency of the sleep schedule. When there isn't a normalized schedule, your body cannot develop a circadian rhythm. In other words, your mind does not known when it is "rest time," which can make falling asleep and staying asleep that much difficult. This also impacts the overall quality of sleep and can generate exhaustion as well.
Tips to Improve Sleep Quality
The good news about sleep is that it can be influenced by a myriad of external factors. We know all about what can prevent you from getting a good night of rest, but what about all the things that can really optimize your sleep? What are all the things you can do to ensure that you feel extra rejuvenated when you wake up? This is where a strong wellness routine can have a big impact.
Relaxation Before Bed
Most people have a million and one things going on every single day; and when bedtime rolls around, they're completely wiped and it's likely they haven't found a moment to unwind and relax. Finding at least 30 minutes daily can really help improve the sleep quality. A couple relaxation suggestions are:
Stretching - We hold a lot of tension in our bodies and stretching helps release that tension. When we are physically relaxed, we are more at ease and can fall asleep more easily.
Taking a Bath - Similar to stretching, a bath is a great way to unwind from the stress of the day. If you are aching or feeling particularly wound up, consider running a hot bath and dropping our CBD Serenity Bath Bomb to maximize relaxation. The inclusion of the epsom salt, essential oils, and Full Spectrum CBD do more than enough to relax muscles and put you into a relaxing state, perfect right before bed.
Perhaps your way of unwinding at the end of a long day is to put a show on or scroll through your phone or tablet. While this can help you check out mentally, the blue light exposure can make it difficult to fall asleep - let alone, destroy your eye sight. Try putting the devices away at least 20 to 30 minutes before turning in for the evening.
A great way to fill that time can be reading a physical book to help ease your mind into a sleep-ready state. To enhance this experience, we suggest keeping our CBD Sleep Essential Oil Roll-On on your bedside table. It incorporates essential oils to create a sense of peace and calm which can help you relax before bed.
Pre-Bedtime Skincare Routine
As trivial as it may seem, having a consistent ritual with your "going to bed" skincare routine can significantly improve your night of rest. In essence, any type of routine that takes place consistently before you go to bed can be a learned cue that tells your mind (subconsciously) that it is time to shut off. If baths are too much work, try taking a hot shower to relax your muscles before delving into a short skincare ritual.
Having a skincare ritual also takes up about 15 to 20 minutes to let your eyes rest if you previously on your phone or watching TV. To maximize this ritual, we suggest leveraging products with lavender to enhance the calming effects. Our favorites include the CBD Lavender Body Lotion and the CBD Face Cream.
Both CBD Topicals not only contain lavender which eases the body into a resting state, but also contains several other organic ingredients designed to keep your skin healthy, supple, and moisturized; especially as the colder weather facilitates drier and drier skin.
The Bottom Line
While having a bad night of sleep once in a while is inevitable, having better sleep overall is achievable! Knowing what can cause restless sleep can help eliminate the bad habits that contribute to it. By improving your wellness routine, your quality of sleep will improve as well. And once you are consistently sleeping better, quality of life will then show significant improvement too. Sweet dreams!
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